South African furniture group Steinhoff posted a 41 percent rise in first-half profit on Tuesday, bucking the trend in the sector hit by weak consumer spending, thanks to favourable currency swings.

Steinhoff, which makes more than half of its sales in Europe, said headline EPS totaled 243 cents in the six months to end-December compared with a 171 cents a year earlier.

Headline EPS, South Africa’s primary profit gauge, strips out certain one-off, non-trading items.

The company, which runs stores such Harveys and Conforama in Europe, said sales increased 17 percent to 67.4 billion rand ($6.23 billion).

Retailers in Africa’s biggest economy are among the local market’s biggest declining stocks of the past 12 months, amid fears about the impact on consumer spending of tentative economic growth, rising fuel prices and high household debt.

But Steinhoff, whose shares are up more than 15 percent so far this year, has outperformed thanks to its extensive operations in Europe and a sharp decline in the rand currency against the euro.

Shares in the company rose 1.19 percent to 51.95 rand by 1243GMT, largely in line with the blue-chip JSE Top-40 index .